Dendritic cells (DCs) undergo maturation during virus infection and thereby become potent stimulators of cell-mediated immunity. HIV-1 replicates in immature DCs, but we now find that infection is not accompanied by many components of maturation in either infected cells or uninfected bystanders. The infected cultures do not develop potent stimulating activity for the mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR), and the DCs producing HIV-1 gag p24 do not express CD83 and DC-lysosome-associated membrane protein maturation markers. If different maturation stimuli are applied to DCs infected with HIV-1, the infected cells selectively fail to mature. When DCs from HIV-1-infected patients are infected and cultured with autologous T cells, IL-10 was produced in 6 of 10 patients. These DC-T cell cocultures could suppress another immune response, the MLR. The regulation was partially IL-10-dependent and correlated in extent with the level of IL-10 produced. Suppressor cells only developed from infected patients, rather than healthy controls, and the DCs had to be exposed to live virus rather than HIV-1 gag peptides or protein. These results indicate that HIV-1-infected DCs have two previously unrecognized means to evade immune responses: maturation can be blocked reducing the efficacy of antigen presentation from infected cells, and T cell-dependent suppression can be induced.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 18 May 2004